Leaders vs Managers

In previous posts on leadership, duplication, and integrity I wrote about how capoeira can be a disguised leadership academy and about the challenge of passing the baton of leadership to a new runner. Today I would like to focus on leadership qualities and how they are different from managers.

Leadership Qualities

  • Internal Focus: the ability to really go inside. It involves the capacity to introspect, understand one’s own strengths and weaknesses, and make decisions based on self-awareness. Leaders with a strong internal focus have a deep understanding of their values, principles, and motivations.
  • Vision: guiding the journey with purpose. People will always follow people that are going somewhere and that know where they want to go.
  • Independence from feedback. Leadership often requires making decisions in situations where feedback is scarce or unreliable. Independence from feedback is the ability to trust one’s instincts and judgment when facing uncertainty.
  • The ability to influence the consciousness of the followers. Influencing the consciousness of followers is more than just providing direction; it involves shaping perspectives and inspiring a shared mindset. Leaders who can influence consciousness understand the power of narrative, communication, and empathy.
  • The ability to help followers achieve their maximum potential. Leaders who prioritize the growth and well-being of their followers create an environment where individuals feel valued and supported. By nurturing the unique strengths of each team member, leaders contribute not only to the success of the team but also to the personal and professional fulfillment of those they lead.

Leaders, distinct from managers, inspire and guide, fostering a shared vision, and empowering individuals to achieve their best, while managers focus on organizational tasks and processes.

Managers vs Leaders

  • Organizes vs Innovates
  • Copying vs Being the Source
  • Preserves vs Develops
  • System Focus vs People Focus
  • Supervises vs Builds Trust
  • Asks “How and When?” vs “What and Why?”
  • Focuses on Bottom Line vs Lifts Head to the Horizon
  • Maintains ‘Status Quo’ vs Flexible and Ever-Changing
  • Does Things Right vs Does the Right Thing